What is shakespeare trying to say with the feud in Romeo and Juliet?

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shaketeach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The feud between the two families in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is the devise he used to show the affects of hate and love.

We are never told the reason for this feud for good reason.  The Montagues and Capulets were raised to hate each other.  This hatred spilled over into the community itself, so no one was immuned from it.  Verona was a town divided by hatred.

By using a feud between two families, Shakespeare gives us a microscopic view of conflicts between people.  In the play it is two families, but if we take the idea into a broader view, we can see that conflicts between two groups of people are just as irrational, whether it is religion, color, ideology, or anything else that seems to seperate us as human beings.


Romeo and Juliet fall in love despite this hatred which illustrates the power of love itself.  These two teenagers choose to take their own lives rather than live in that world of hatred.

Shakepeare pits hate against love and love wins since their deaths end up uniting both the families and the community.

Read the study guide:
Romeo and Juliet

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